Air Dehumidification in the Food Industry

Consistent air dehumidification has become an indispensable part of the entire process environment in food production, drying and storage. Drying systems that function on the basis of modern condensation or adsorption technologies can solve a variety of different problems or — even better — prevent these problems from arising in the first place. For example, their use can prevent long-term damage to buildings or building equipment, or indeed to the production systems or storage facilities. Even more important to the manufacturer in a specific case: efficient dehumidification systems prevent the damage or losses in quality that moisture can cause in the food production and storage environment. This can affect the substance of the products (for example, in the case of thickening of dehydrated products such as soup or sauce powder) or — as in the case of brewery products or certain types of cheese — can also have a direct impact on the taste quality of the products in question. This can be prevented!

Spray Drying

Where products, especially food products, are dried in spray dryers or fluidised bed systems, significant improvements in consistency and quality can be achieved by dehumidifying the supply air in advance. These have a particularly positive effect — especially with the aim of achieving reliable and, above all, uniform food quality. Dehumidifiers not only limit the effects of the standard seasonal changes in weather and climate conditions, they also enable operators to eliminate the consequences of seasonal fluctuations. In addition, dehumidification of the ambient air during cooling of the goods immediately before they are packed prevents them from continuing to absorb moisture.

Moisture Ingress due to Highly Frequent Cleaning

For hygienic reasons alone, cleaning has to be carried out frequently — often several times a day — in many food processing companies. One example is the meat-processing industry, where the utilised machines, work surfaces and floors need to be cleaned as often as three times a day to achieve the required level of cleanliness due to the considerable soiling that occurs there.

The problem: Wherever cleaning is carried out, for example using high-pressure cleaners, moisture is also deposited. If this is not removed regularly, it settles on the processed meat products, among other surfaces, and forms a breeding ground for germs and undesirable bacteria.

Hygroscopic Ingredients
(e.g. Starch)

In the industrial manufacture and further processing of hygroscopic substances, continuous dehumidification of the ambient air is essential for optimal production. Compounds that have a strong attraction to moisture, such as starch, may change not only their dimensions but also their colour and other characteristics when they absorb water. Crucially, however, the quality of the products and their individual components may also deteriorate to the point of being unusable or inedible. For example, flour quickly forms lumps when it absorbs moisture, whereas sugar reacts chemically with water to form cast or caramel-like compounds that can make it unusable for further processing. The use of effective dehumidification solutions is vital in order to prevent the consequences of these reactions or processes.

Humidity in Manufacturing

This brochure provides information on what isimportant to ensure the environment is optimally conditioned, what needs to be considered and what solutions are available.